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Thank you, Deb Sparrow! Newsletter

This email to her employees needs to be shared...very inspirational!!

Good morning teammates and friends,

Welcome to Wordy Wednesday! I hope your heart didn’t just drop, like, “oh no,” because…oh, yes… Steve finally let me write the morning email!! I’ve been asking and finally wore him down like Chinese water torture. Is it still called that? I don’t know. I’m pretty sure that dripping water violates the Geneva Convention. Anyway, Stephen is such a patient man. He gently mentioned a word limit and so he clearly does not know that I get paid by the word. Don’t tell him any differently. He just thinks it’s part of my delightful but quirky charm and with any luck, so do you! And, one delightful ‘word overdoer’ can be slightly forgiven for her writing and leadership enthusiasm, don’t you think?

There I go making up words again, but this time I have a good reason! This time I am here to share some Wednesday Morning Wisdom (WMW) to get your day started off with something to think about, something to smile about, and with great appreciation for all that each of you have to offer to MSCU and our members.

I often wonder what talents all of you possess outside of work. What is it that you love to do, that makes your soul happy and lights up your spirit? (Hint, cannabis is not the answer. Or maybe it is?) As for me, I write. I wrote my first story in preschool about a boy I pushed off the slide because he wouldn’t move. True story. I probably would have been sending out 1000 word emails shortly thereafter had such a medium existed in my early days. Instead, I sat at my grandparents’ dining room table, feeding paper into an ancient typewriter, and I wrote and wrote and wrote. Letters, stories, articles. When I wasn’t doing that, I was reading and playing sports and roaming through the woods, trying to keep up with my two older siblings.

Every new experience I had, every thought I wanted to explore, I wrote about. It is how I process thoughts and feelings to this day, and often, things that feel overwhelming. When I got to college, I learned that I was a pretty good writer. Other freshmen struggled with the demands of our first year English seminar but I was in my happy place. That was the year I discovered African-American literature and the real power of soulful story-telling. The books I was assigned to read described a world I knew nothing of: being black in America. The stories were of slavery, subjugation, dehumanization, cruelty, and discrimination based on skin color, and yet, a culture of beauty, strength, survival and hope. So I read Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker. My reading expanded my small town Maine boundaries and helped me realize how important it is to recognize and value all kinds of life experiences and all kinds of beauty. If you have ever read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, you realize how difficult the world must have seemed for the main character, a little black girl, to desperately long for blue eyes so the world would see her as beautiful and worthy. My recent foray into the African-American genre is the work of Colson Whitehead. Powerful stuff.

Another book I would highly recommend is Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. It is a story of resilience and hope in face of oppression, degradation, and crushing pain. I first read it for a class in 1984. It tells the story of two sisters who are separated for many years. It is heart-breaking and beautiful at the same time. Truthfully, it was all the more painful and real for me as that was the year I lost my own sister suddenly and unexpectedly. I lost the person who I believed would always be there through the ups and downs of our lives, my greatest cheerleader, and the person who balanced out my intensity with fun and craziness. I didn’t know how I would move forward with my life. Grief is blinding and overwhelming at times. The Color Purple gave me hope and, eventually, the determination to be grateful for every day of my life and find joy without being consumed by the fear of losing the people I love.  

Toni Morrison was the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. She died this week at age 88 after a lifetime of sharing her gift for story-telling. Here’s what she had to say about the responsibility we have for creating beauty, and joy, in our own lives:  

“Your life is already artful-

waiting, just waiting, for you to make it art.”  -Toni Morrison

Not only do we each have gifts, but we need each other’s talents, attention, encouragement, and care. That’s what makes this place and the people in it special. Please do me a favor or two. Talk to each other, not about each other, be curious, and go expand your boundaries just a bit. Have an open heart and open mind and be good people. Bring great energy and it will be returned to you.  That’s what I tell my kids, and even though they roll their eyes, I know they listen. They make me smile. So do you!

Thanks for listening! Your job today is to smile and thrive and help someone else do the same! Let me know how it goes, okay? Oh, and one more quote:

If you wanna fly,

you got to give up the

*stuff* that weighs you down.

-Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

 

Deb

 

 

Deborah L. Sparrow|Senior Vice President/CLO

Maine State Credit Union

NMLS: 407288

t. 207.623.1851 x2321| 800.540.8707| m. 207.458.1345

a. 200 Capitol Street, Augusta, Maine 04330 | dsparrow@mainestatecu.org

MaineStateCU.org |

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